By Walter Broeckx
No changes were made by Arsenal for this match against Manchester City.
So Wenger went again for Giroud and Walcott together in the starting line up. The name we were all looking for wasn’t included even on the bench: Alexis. So Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide were also on the bench.
The team that started was: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud.
On the beach: Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi, Oxlade-Chamberlain
A vert closed match in the opening minutes. Neither team really going forward with full throttle. Walcott missing a control that might have set him free and City have a few shots from distance but nothing close to the Arsenal goal. City with a dangerous looking attack but no end product and Arsenal can clear. De Bruyne kicks Walcott who wanted to start an attack. A dangerously looking cross from Monreal but a Ciry player first on the ball. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
City with the first corner but Arsenal can clear. Walcott almost with a rebound after City shoot the ball against him but too close to the goal line and he can’t keep it in. De Bruyne with a low shot but Cech can save in a corner. Both teams very disciplined when they don’t have the ball and so very few chances for both teams. Still 0-0 after 30 minutes.
Silva gets a yellow card for a few small fouls. Suddenly Aguero gives the ball to De Bruyne who is in space and goes for own success instead of giving a pass to Silva and his shot goes wide. The first real chance of the match. And then after 32 minutes Özil in some space a pass to Walcott, a cut back and a fierce shot that ends up in the far corner. GOAL! 1-0 to The Arsenal. A lovely goal from Theo, Theo, Theo, Theo…
Walcott almost plays Bellerin in but a City defender can clear for a corner.Özil with the corner Koscielny with header but Ramsey cannot get on to the ball and can only keep it in play. Campbell with a pass that was just too hard for Walcott. Otamendi kicks Giroud and the City fans protest against the ref. Come on it was a clear foul. Walcott picks up the ball in the last minute of extra time, a pass to Özil who puts Giroud in on goal in a little bit of space and Giroud scores the ball with a low shot! GOAL! 2-0 To The Arsenal right on the stroke of half time.
Arsenal very disciplined when defending and then hitting City when they get the chance and being very clinical when taking their chances.
City made one change at half time as Sterling came in the place of Delph. Otamendi gets a yellow card when he deliberately pushes Giroud in a very blatant way. City with some early pressure but only a tame shot from Aguero to show for it in the opening minutes. Monreal with a low cross and Campbell cuts inside but his effort goes just over the crossbar. Aguero with header after a free kick but in the arms of Cech. Campbell away on the flank but Hart can stop his effort with his foot this time. Otamendi can just clear a cross from Bellerin. Aguero again with a header from an offside position but no problem for Cech.
A great attack from Arsenal ends with a final pass from Campbell to Ramsey but his shot hits the face of Hart and the ball goes out for a corner. Some up an under football for a few seconds is ended with a clear foul on Campbell. Should have been a yelllow card.
Still 2-0 to The Arsenal after 60 minutes.
Aguero goes off and Bony comes on for City. Ramsey with the ball after a pass from Giroud but he was too much out of balance to get his shot on target. After 69 minutes Campbell came off under a loud applause and Gibbs came on. Monreal with a cross that almost finds Özil but he can’t make contact with the ball. Sterling looking for foul but the ref so far not falling for it. Both Touré and Sterling diving to win a penalty, should have been at least one yellow card to stop this, mr. Marinner.
Silva goes off and Navas comes on for City.Mertesacker with his umpteenth interception to clear a cross from City. Bony with a header after a City corner but easy for Cech. Still 2-0 to The Arsenal after 75 minutes.
Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on for Özil who once again added 2 assists to his impressive stats. Navas suddenly away in clear offside but the assistant let it go but Per and Kos come to the rescue. Walcott with a low shot but Hart can stop the effort. The Ox trying to set up Monreal but his pass was too hard. Out of nothing suddenly a left footed shot from Yaya Toure that ends up in the top corner of Cech. 2-1 after 82 minutes. No record breaking clean sheet.
Ramsey with a chance but his lob goes wide. That should have been the 3-1 almost in the same minute.
City of course now full going for the equaliser and putting Arsenal under pressure. Toure with a chance after a 1-2 with De Bruyne but his shot went wide this time. Chambers came on in the place of Walcott with 3 minutes to go. Giroud with an injury when he made an excellent block in the final minute. 4 minutes of extra time.
Chambers using his body well to force Toure in to a foul so Arsenal get the ball again. Arsenal trying to keeps the ball in the City half in the extra time. City can’t get the ball forward in the direction of Cech and the ref blows the final whistle.
Arsenal win 2-1 against City. We should have finished the job earlier as it got rather tense in the final 10 minutes. But under the guidance of Özil (is the jury really still out Mr. Moyes?) we score 2 goals and stay in touch with Leicester.
The only bad thing is that Cech couldn’t get his 170th clean sheet.